How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader

pdflogo   How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe ReaderI love Adobe PDF files. I love the format, the features and their ease of use. But I have never really bonded with Adobe Reader or FoxIt and to be honest, I am not a big fan of overloading my computer with too many bloated software programs in the first place. If I can find an online equivalent to do the job then I am a happy camper.

So with the news that Gmail now supports the reading of PDF files, I realised I could now do away with Adobe Reader being on my computer altogether. Hurray! Goodbye Reader and thanks for all the bloat!

Being sent a PDF file by email? View PDF in Gmail.

If someone now sends me a PDF file by email, all I have to do is click the “view” button in Gmail. This then sends the file to my Google Docs account for viewing (you may have to log into Google Docs first)

gmailpdfview   How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader

After logging into Google Docs, their lightweight PDF viewer immediately opens your file. As you can see below, the viewer gives you the ability to download the file and print the file.

gmailpdfview2   How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader

Plus, just like Adobe Reader, you have the strip down the side which allows you to see thumbnails of all the pages so you can jump straight to a particular page.

gmailpdfview3   How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader

Once you’ve finished looking at your file, just close Google Docs. Easy. No need to use Adobe Reader or FoxIt or any other installed software.

2. PDF file on your computer? Open it in Google Docs.

But what if the PDF file is not in your email? What if the PDF file is on your computer? Well then you can either upload it to Google Docs or to Gmail for reading in Google Docs.

To upload to Gmail, you can use a favourite tool of mine called Backup to email (or gmail) which integrates into your Explorer right-click menu. Then when you have uploaded the PDF file to Gmail, repeat stage one to view your file in Google Docs. You can also use Gmail as a nice little storage facility for your PDF files long term.

To upload your file from your computer to Google Docs (cutting out Gmail), Docs provides a variety of ways to get your file there. The easiest route is to go to Google Docs and use their file uploading tool.  The only snag with uploading it to the Google Docs server is that there is a 10MB file size limit.

googledocsfileupload   How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader

If you do a bit of online searching, you can also find things such as a desktop tool to quickly upload documents.

Then again, once your PDF file is in Docs, just use their lightweight viewer to open it.    When you have finished and you don’t want to keep the file online, just delete it.   You will still have the original file on your computer.

jossstone2   How To Use Gmail & Google Docs Instead of Adobe Reader

What is absolutely amazing is the crystal clear picture quality and the very fast loading speeds that Google Docs provides. It really does put Adobe Reader to shame.

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16 Comments -

0 votes

Travis Quinnelly

There’s something to be said for having Adobe Reader (full-version) for certain needs, like producing a huge, high-quality pdf file…but I agree with you whole-heartedly. I use this little trick every day for the ease of viewing PDFs online.

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

I think you’re thinking about Adobe Acrobat for producing the PDF files. Acrobat is good but extremely expensive. Reader on the other hand is just a pile of bloat and not needed (in my opinion).

0 votes

Dan

I wonder how would Adobe react to this…

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

To Google muscling in on their territory? Probably not happy but then again, maybe the competition will make them lower their prices and improve their product?

0 votes

Michael Jahn

The Google technology that is used to convert a PDF file into a preview is crap. It delivers an ugly index color image (like a horrible GIF file) and then ignores modern features such as transparency effects. Nice tool for probably 98% of the world though, just no good for designers and publishers

0 votes

Mark O’Neill

You call the above screenshots “ugly index color images”? If so, there’s no pleasing you! I think that’s really good picture quality!

0 votes

Michael Jahn

I do not know what sort of monitor or screen you are using – perhaps your computer is not set up to view 24 bits – that is, 8 bits per channel – that is, 256 levels of from white to black on Red, Green and Blue – look carefully at these images – they are only using 8 bits for all three – you can see that this is an index color table rendering. This is like 1984 color.

Besides building a better preview rendering engine, they are ignoring several PDF operations and rendering the file incorrectly – like Apples preview tool, they simply need to do a better job – and they will, of course, this is version 1.

No need to please me though – it works fine as it is, and it is great that I can simply walk up onto ANY computer, log into gmail and get my mail and view attachments – even if the PDF files are ‘sketches’ of the actual file, they let me view them and view them pretty fast.

Michael Jahn
Jahn & Associates
PDF Color Conversion Specialist
1824 North Garvin Avenue
Simi Valley
California 93065
Office: (805) 527 8130
Cell: (805) 217 6741
Email: michaelejahn@gmail.com
Skype: michaelejahn
Twitter: http://twitter.com/michaelejahn
Blog: http://michaelejahn.blogspot.com/

0 votes

venkat

Gmail makes it easy to view PDF files online ,I think Google’s Gmail is not just simply an email ,not other email service provides these features to their users,that’s why lot are choosing Gmail.

0 votes

Miguel Wickert

Yes! Thanks for sharing, I should get rid of it as well. :)

0 votes

Jay Godse

This is a great benefit for Google Apps. It means that one does not have to have Acrobat Reader running to properly render a PDF document. It means that all PDFs can be handled within the web browser. I’m going to bet that Google’s PDF renderer takes up much less memory than other PDF readers, and that is a boon to those of us with old and/or weak computers.

0 votes

qawd

LOL !! You are dull !!!

0 votes

MichaelLarsen

The only issue I have with Google docs is you can only upload a I think it is 10MB and that is great for most pdfs, but on occasion I have the need to up load a 30MB file to review.

0 votes

Jaimini Ram

google docs does not support PDF digital signatures – it just flattens it into an image!